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Erdogan: Turkish military helicopter downed during Operation Olive Branch

12 February 2018

Separately, the Turkish chief of military staff, Gen. Hulusi Akar, and other commanders surveyed the operation from an airborne warning and control plane, the military said. You were not going to be in Manbij and not going to give the terrorist organization guns.

"These things will happen, we are in a war".

The Syrian civil war, now entering its eighth year, has killed hundreds of thousands of people and driven over 11 million from their homes, while drawing in regional countries and global powers supporting client factions on the ground.

But the U.S. has taken a different view to the YPG, providing it with weapons in the Syrian group's battle against Islamic State militants.

That deal has unravelled with a broad government offensive in Idlib province in Syria's north-west and eastern Ghouta, two of the last major strongholds of the opposition fighting Assad.

It added its military killed 39 militants.

Russian Federation continues to deny having a role in the attacks. Damascus has consistently denied using chemical weapons.

AFP on February 9 said the diplomats were seeking the cease-fire to allow deliveries of humanitarian aid.

The U.S. said Russian Federation must use its influence over Bashar al-Assad's forces to ensure Syria immediately allows United Nations aid to reach vulnerable civilians.

On January 9, Syria's military accused Israel of launching missiles at military outposts in the vicinity of Qutayfeh, near Damascus. While the Western experts raise concerns about the legality of the mission, as does the Russian Defense Ministry, they do not say the us seeks Syria's economic assets.

Eastern Ghouta, which lies east of the capital, has been besieged since 2013.

The Observatory said 211 people have been killed in eastern Ghouta since Monday. The campaign followed Ankara's promises to "strangle" the new Border Security Force (BSF) in Syria.

The agency described the strikes as being an act of "aggression".

"The secretary and his counterparts will discuss how the 74-member global coalition can ensure an enduring defeat for ISIS in Iraq and Syria", spokeswoman Heather Nauert said.

The ministry urged the two sides to force the USA -led coalition to stop its crimes and attacks that have claimed the lives to thousands of civilians over the past three years. With ground and air support from the USA military and its coalition partners, the Kurdish forces pushed the Islamic State forces back to their capital of Raqqa and liberated that city last October. There were no immediate reports of casualties.

"Ghouta is drowning in blood", said a doctor in Arbeen, one of the towns in the region in which 100 people were wounded and at least 14 killed, including a rescue worker and several children.

The heavy death toll underscored the size of the offensive, which U.S. officials said included about 500 ground troops, artillery, tanks, multiple-launch rocket systems, and mortars.

Eastern Ghouta has an estimated 400,000 residents, who are also trapped by a tightening government siege and critical shortage of medical supplies and food.

The operation in Afrin, dubbed The Olive Branch, has led to Washington's ire. "We would like to see a ceasefire, the end of war in Syria, but the terrorists, I'm not sure they are in agreement".

The Syrian regime forces have been conducting intensified airstrikes on the region since Thursday morning.

More than 800 civilians are believed to have been injured in the same period. It said the dead includes a medic and at least three children and eight women.

Syria's state media say the US -led coalition has bombed government-backed troops in eastern Syria, citing reports of dozens killed and wounded. However, Anadolu Agency earlier reported that the helicopter crashed in the southern Turkish province of Hatay.

The United States has called for an end to the airstrikes, as has France.

SANA labeled it an "aggression" and a "new massacre".

"[The perpetrators] will pay a heavy price [for downing theTurkish helicopter]", Erdogan said, speaking at a ruling Justice and Development (AK) Party's provincial meeting.